I handed in final grades the other day, thereby ending my tenure as "Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar" at AUB. Today I am cleaning out my office, packing up my books and files, and getting ready to hand in my keys. What a bittersweet day. I'm excited to see my family and friends back in the U.S. and of course sad to leave behind all of the good people associated with the communication skills program and English Department at AUB. I can't think of a better affiliation to have had while in Lebanon, and not just because the AUB campus is so green and offers a great view of the sea.
And of course while I'm excited to think of summer teaching at UM-Dearborn, going to Youngstown for the weekend, eating tacos from the take-away trucks in Mexicantown, and the obligatory summer shows (Dirtbombs, Kills, and New York Dolls are all on the agenda), I'll miss manouche at Snack Faisal, hiking with Vamos Todos, and me and Nicole hopping on the cheap bus to southern Lebanon for the day. The "Beirut-Dearborn Writing and Learning Community" is taking shape. Four AUB lecturers have signed up to be part of the collaborative teaching experiment next academic year, so the cross-cultural literacy narrative project looks like it's going to continue, and grow, and perhaps be the vehicle on which I return to Beirut in the near future, inshallah.
In the meantime, two more weeks in the Middle East and no teaching duties. Tomorrow a.m., Nicole and I are flying to the Gulf for a five-day getaway, our last international travel until we head for the U.S. on June 24-25. We also have the wedding of the century on June 17. So look for a few more posts before I retire this blog for good.